So, “how’s my first month in the new job been?”.
Really enjoying it. I have been made very welcome indeed by a fantastic group of people here in CEIS – in Glasgow and in Ayrshire – and by our partners across Scotland who have been generous with their knowledge. The care and passion shine through.
If it needed bringing home to me, our open day in the Irvine sunshine a week past Friday, was all about the determination to deliver the very best for those wanting to get back into work and the importance of our collaboration with employers, Councils, and other specialist agencies. I was impressed by the partnership approach on offer, for example, the importance of health and well-being being very prominent.
“I also join CEIS at an interesting point in time for social enterprise”
I recall being involved in a tasty debate just over a decade ago as to the distinctiveness (or otherwise) of social enterprise from the broader third sector. I remember it fondly! I am heartened to say that the fallout from this was the publication of Scotland’s first social enterprise strategy and action plan. The social enterprise movement in Scotland has since matured, gone from strength to strength and still has its unmistakable swagger. I also believe that this has undoubtedly strengthened the third sector as a whole who have cemented their position in Scotland and play a much more influential role. Think the jargon is ‘mutually reinforcing’.
I return to the fray with a no less passionate debate on characteristics and values in relation to social enterprise. Also ‘live’ at the moment is a Scottish Government-led review of intermediary bodies. I have spent my first month listening to a range of views – very genuinely and strongly held …. and have no intention of clumsily wading into any side of the argument.
What does shine through is that everyone I have spoken to is passionate about social change, in helping those who may need a kickstart in life and I am optimistic we can come to an agreement which will again be ‘mutually reinforcing’. The bigger prize is enlarging the cake of opportunities open to social enterprise and tapping into a new generation who can take all the benefits it brings to an even higher level.
I am hugely excited and proud to be on board as CEO of one of Scotland’s most influential social enterprises and part of a company and of a movement that is seeking to give people a purpose – be that work, learning, volunteering – in the most enterprising of ways.
Please get in touch to have a chat or to challenge or better inform me. It’s early days and I very much look forward to working with you all. E: Ian.Mitchell@ceis.org.uk LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ian-mitchell-1ab181187